Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

May 08, 2013 12:11 ET

Harper Government Reinforces Support for Victims of Crime

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 8, 2013) - Today, the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety; David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, and Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu; announced the Government of Canada's support for Bill C-479, An Act to Amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (Fairness for Victims).

Bill C-479, the Fairness for Victims Act, introduced in the House of Commons by MP David Sweet, proposes to increase the period within which the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) must conduct detention reviews following a detention order and parole reviews following a denial of parole. It also provides additional support to victims.

"Supporting this legislation is in keeping with the Government's plan for safe streets and communities, which focuses on tackling crime, victims' rights, and fair and efficient justice system," said Minister Toews. "I would like to commend my colleague for his strong commitment to putting the rights of victims ahead of those of the offender."

"I am proud to have introduced a Bill that will provide help to victims and their families," said MP Sweet. "By modernizing the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, we are giving victims a greater voice in the parole process and respect for the ordeals they have to endure by extending the mandatory review periods."

"Our Government has pledged to Canadians that we will work hard to address the needs of victims of crime and their families. I'm proud to say we have made significant progress," said Senator Boisvenu. "This Bill continues to fulfill our commitment to protect and support victims of crime."

The Bill proposes to:

  • extend mandatory review periods for parole whereby if a violent offender is denied parole, the PBC would have to review the case within five years rather than the current two years;
  • increase the period, to within five years, in which the PBC must review parole, following the cancellation or termination of parole;
  • emphasize that the PBC must take into consideration the victim's need and the need of the victim's family to attend a hearing and witness the proceedings;
  • require that the PBC consider any victim impact statement presented by victims;
  • require the PBC to provide the victim, if requested, with information about the offender's release on parole, statutory release or temporary absence; and
  • provide victims with information about the offender's correctional plan, including progress towards meeting its objectives.

Bill C-479 was introduced in the House of Commons in February, and will be debated on May 10, 2013. It can be found at http://www.parl.gc.ca/LegisInfo/BillDetails.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&billId=5997679

For more information, please visit our website at http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca. Follow Public Safety Canada on Twitter @Safety_Canada.

Contact Information

  • Julie Carmichael
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Public Safety
    613-991-2924

    Public Safety Canada
    Media Relations
    613-991-0657